OAKLAND -- Except for one Big Bang, the A's got shut down, shaved up, smushed and shushed in Game 1 Friday.

Except for one incredible burst of Coliseum noise, most everything was unnervingly quiet.

Except for Yoenis Cespedes' rocket-launch two-run home run in the seventh, the A's best couldn't match Detroit's best in the Tigers' 3-2 victory.

And even the A's largest crowd in more than nine years -- 48,401 fans dying to go crazy -- couldn't save them.

Or yell very much, actually.

Not with Tigers starter Max Scherzer mowing the A's down into the seventh, not with Miguel Cabrera and Victor Martinez knocking around Bartolo Colon early.

Not on this anxious night.

Nope, the A's need it loud when they're in the Coliseum, and they just couldn't pump up the volume.

"Obviously, Scherzer's Scherzer and he was on his game tonight," A's catcher Stephen Vogt said.

"We tried to take advantage of every opportunity you get -- there just weren't many opportunities ... When you've got that kind of stuff coming at you, it's tough to string together a bunch of hits."

On Friday, Colon was off-kilter, gave up three first-inning runs, and barely held on through six innings (giving up 10 hits).

Colon settled down after the early-going, but the damage -- with Scherzer throwing darts -- was too much to overcome.

"He got out of sync," A's manager Bob Melvin said of Colon's first inning, when he gave up two doubles, two singles and hit Torii Hunter with a pitch.

"You saw balls up in the zone, which you normally don't see from him -- hits a batter -- so it took him an inning to get back into his rhythm."

The A's offense could not make up for that, and that made things awfully quiet for a long while.

Scherzer had a one-hitter into the seventh, and even after Cespedes' blast, Scherzer kept it together through that inning.

Then Detroit's best two relievers finished it off.

Scherzer, the probable 2013 AL Cy Young winner, struck out 11 A's in his seven innings and was wiping them out until Brandon Moss' infield hit preceded Cespedes monster shot.

Including the five strikeouts by Tigers relievers Drew Smyly and Joaquin Benoit (who struck out Moss, Cespedes and Josh Reddick in the bottom of the ninth), the A's struck out 16 times.

In the middle of the A's order, Josh Donaldson struck out twice, Moss struck out three times, Cespedes twice and Reddick three times.

"Three pretty good pitchers and they're go-to guys to finish out games, at least with Smyly and Benoit," Melvin said.

"Would've been nice to get a little something going early in the game, put a little pressure on them early, try to get Scherzer's pitch-count up so he wouldn't get as far as he did.

"Maybe not our best offensive night, but he pitched pretty well, too."

Scherzer was too good. Colon wasn't good enough. The A's weren't good enough. The Tigers were better.

And that is a problem the A's must solve immediately, or else this short five-game series could get out of hand in a blink.

Plus, it might not get appreciably easier any time soon -- in Saturday's Game 2, the A's will throw rookie Sonny Gray against 2011 A.L. Cy Young Justin Verlander.

Oakland A’s fan are dejected after Oakland Athletics’ Josh Reddick (16) strikes out against the Detroit Tigers to end Game 1 of the American
Oakland A's fan are dejected after Oakland Athletics' Josh Reddick (16) strikes out against the Detroit Tigers to end Game 1 of the American League Division Series at O.co Coliseum in Oakland, Calif., on Friday, Oct. 4, 2013. Detroit defeats Oakland 3-2. (Jose Carlos Fajardo/Bay Area News Group)

Of course, the Giants lost the first two games of last year's NLDS at home and then won the next three in Cincinnati. (This year, Game 5 would return to Oakland.)

But the Reds didn't have anybody like Scherzer or Verlander on their staff, and that made all the difference.

If the A's can't beat Verlander and the Tigers in Game 2, they would face the prospect of needing to win three consecutive games -- with Scherzer lined up to pitch Game 5.

"I feel like we're already on the verge of the World Series again," Benoit told reporters in the Tigers clubhouse afterward.

So yes, Game 2 looms as a massive moment for the A's, who didn't quite meet the challenge in Game 1.

Except for one electric charge, the A's went quietly and meekly on Friday, which is just not their style.

And not the way they can play it, even for one more game in this series.

Read Tim Kawakami's Talking Points blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/kawakami. Contact him at tkawakami@ mercurynews.com.